2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class checks all the boxes that matter in a super luxury car, securing its place at the top of its class.

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.5
Performance: 9.1
Interior: 9.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 5.3
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Phenomenal rear-seat comfort (sedan)
  • Extensive high-tech features
  • Refined, powerful engines
  • Superb ride quality
  • Slight learning curve with infotainment system

2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Overview

Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Mercedes S-Class is an excellent option if you’re shopping for a used super luxury car. The S-Class has a smooth and tranquil ride, engine power to spare, exquisite seating comfort, and advanced safety features that enable near-autonomous driving. All this luxury comes at a steep price, however. Most rivals cost significantly less to purchase and own. Still, the S-Class feels a cut above the competition.

Why You Can Trust Us

We analyzed numerous Mercedes-Benz S-Class reviews to give you an idea of this car’s pros and cons. We’ve also included information on fuel economy and reliability to help you decide if the 2016 S-Class is the right car for you.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking the best vehicles since 2007, and our editorial staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To keep our reviews impartial, we don't accept expensive trips or gifts from car companies, and an external partner places and sells the ads on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

The average price for a used 2016 S-Class – based on the 160 listings for this vehicle on our site – is $86,200. List prices range from $62,000 to $138,900. For comparison, the average price of a 2016 BMW 7 Series is $66,500, and the average price for a 2016 Audi A8 is $49,800. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cost to Own?

Over five years of owning a used 2016 S-Class, you can expect to pay around $47,000 for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. That's more than $9,400 a year. You could save a couple thousand dollars each year by purchasing a rival like the 2016 Audi A8, 2016 BMW 7 Series, or 2016 Lexus LS.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New S-Class?

Choosing between a used 2016 S-Class and a brand-new 2018 model is tough. The average price of a used model is only a few thousand dollars less than the starting price of a new one. A used 2016 model at this price point will likely have more features or a more powerful engine than a new S-Class, but you'll get a new-car warranty with a 2018 model, and you won't have to worry about the car's maintenance history.

Financing rates on used models are also generally higher than you'll get with a new model. Ultimately, if you prefer a more loaded model with a brawnier powertrain, the used model is probably right for you. If you want better financing rates and the benefits of being the first owner, you should buy a new 2018 S-Class.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class »

The average price of a used 2016 S-Class is higher than the base price of every other new 2018 super luxury car in the class. No other model in this segment can match the sheer luxury of the S-Class, but they get pretty close. Take a 2018 Audi A8, 2018 BMW 7 Series, or 2018 Lexus LS out for a test drive before you sign on the dotted line for a used S-Class. These base trims probably won't have as many features as a comparably priced 2016 S-Class, but you may find a new model that fits your needs.

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

The 2016 S-Class has an above-average reliability rating of four out of five. A score of three is average among all used cars, while most class rivals have scores of 3.5.

Read more about S-Class reliability »

2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are four recalls on the 2016 S-Class. One involves the possible loss of power steering. One involves poorly adjusted headlights. Another deals with the potential for the engine to stall. The final recall covers the possibility that some seat belt extenders may not retract correctly. Be sure these issues have been addressed before buying a used S-Class.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz S-Class safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Is Best?

The 2016 model is part of an S-Class generation that launched for the 2014 model year. The 2014 S-Class had fewer available trims, so you won't find a 2014 S-Class coupe or S550 plug-in hybrid sedan, for example. There were no major updates between 2015 and 2016. Mercedes introduced a new nine-speed automatic transmission for 2017 and debuted a cabriolet (convertible) body style.

If you go back to the 2013 model, be aware that it was the final model year of the previous generation, so it will be drastically different than a newer S-Class. Still, you may want to consider the 2013 S-Class, as it has lower ownership costs than the newer generation.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 S-Class »

Which Used Mercedes-Benz S-Class Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 S-Class coupe comes in three trim levels: S550, AMG S63, and AMG S65. The S-Class sedan is available in five trims: S550, S550e, S600, AMG S63, and AMG S65. Regardless of trim level, all models are equipped with dual 12.3-inch infotainment screens, navigation, voice recognition, a rearview camera, forward collision warning with brake assist, adaptive headlights, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, proximity keyless entry, and air suspension.

Since all S-Class trims are well-equipped, you should focus your used car hunt on engine performance and desirable available features, which may include massaging front and rear seats, blind spot monitoring, and the Parktronic self-parking system.

See 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz S-Class Warranty

Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles come with the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, plus an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. If the new-car warranty has expired, you’ll just receive the one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 164-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Mercedes-Benz offers one of the best CPO programs on the market. It bests nearly every luxury brand and easily comes out on top of the CPO programs offered by mainstream brands.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the S-Class?

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety performed crash tests on the 2016 S-Class.

The S-Class does, however, offer the largest suite of driver assistance features in its class. All models have a rearview camera, a driver drowsiness monitor, forward collision warning with brake assist, and adaptive pivoting headlights. Available features include a 360-degree camera, a night vision camera with pedestrian detection, parallel park assist (with parking sensors), blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control with steering and full braking assist.

See S-Class safety scores »

2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class or 2016 BMW 7 Series?

Fully redesigned for 2016, the BMW 7 Series is a great luxury car and a close rival of the S-Class. The 7 Series has expansive rear seats, a luxurious massaging feature, and long lists of convenience features and safety systems, including pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control. The 7 Series also supports the user-friendly Apple CarPlay interface, and its standard V6 engine gets higher fuel economy estimates (21/29 mpg) than the base S-Class. Still, it feels a step behind the more opulent S-Class, which offers unmatched interior quality and a supremely smooth ride. Overall, the S-Class is the better luxury sedan, though you'll likely find used 7 Series models at lower prices.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class or 2016 Audi A8?

The 2016 Audi A8 mirrors many of the S-Class’ top selling points. The A8 boasts a smooth ride and balanced handling, muscular engine options, a cavernous and luxurious interior, and many advanced safety features. But in the areas where the A8 is merely good, the S-Class is better. It has a higher reliability rating, a more advanced infotainment system, and a roomier trunk. The S-Class is the superior luxury car, but you’ll probably pay much less for a used A8.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class or 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

While the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class cannot compete with the posh S-Class’ rear-seat space or cabin refinement, it does have many of the same luxurious features at a lower price. The E-Class – our 2016 Best Upscale Midsize Car for Families – offers massaging front seats, forward collision warning with brake assist, rear-seat DVD screens, and Mercedes’ smooth air suspension. It is available in sedan, wagon, coupe, and convertible variants. Before buying a used S-Class, test-drive the more affordable E-Class.

Compare the S-Class, 7 Series, and A8 »

2016 S-Class Performance

How Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Drive?

The S-Class is a cushioned cruiser that offers plenty of punch from its powertrains. The 2016 S-Class is available with a range of turbocharged engines, including a 436-horsepower V6 plug-in hybrid, multiple V8 choices, and a 621-horsepower V12. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard; all-wheel drive (4Matic) is available. There’s no slowpoke within this group. All models come with an adaptive air suspension that provides a soft ride and composed handling. Mercedes’ available Magic Body Control suspension can even scan bumps in the road ahead and adjust the suspension to minimize their effect.

Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base S550 gets 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which is a bit low for the class. The V12-powered AMG S65 only gets 13 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. For the best fuel economy in the S-Class lineup, consider the S550e plug-in hybrid, which gets 58 mpg-equivalent and has an electric-only range of 12 miles.

Read more about S-Class performance »

2016 S-Class Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 S-Class Seat?

The 2016 S-Class sedan seats five and the coupe seats four. The front seats are supple and well-contoured, offering excellent comfort on longer trips. The coupe’s rear seats are plush and surprisingly roomy, while the sedan’s palatial rear seats offer loungeworthy accommodations. An available Executive Rear Seat package lowers the sedan’s seating capacity to four, but it provides two luxe rear seats with footrests, a center console, and folding tables. Leather upholstery and heated front seats are standard in all models; heated, ventilated, and massaging front and rear seats are available. The S-Class’ cabin is well-insulated and lavishly styled with top-notch materials.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

The S-Class sedan has two sets of LATCH connectors in the rear seats.

2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Features

The Mercedes S-Class has a wide array of high-tech features, most of which come standard. The S-Class’ elegant dashboard contains two 12.3-inch screens that display pertinent driving info and provide access to Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system. The system is fairly user-friendly, though some simple tasks can feel overly complex. A rotary dial on the center console, as well as buttons on the dashboard and steering wheel, control the functions. A touchpad located behind the dial can detect handwriting, making it easier to input destinations into the navigation system. Additional standard features include voice recognition, a cabin air fragrance system, power rear sunshades, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a Burmester sound system. The lengthy options list includes a head-up display, dual rear-seat DVD screens, and a beverage cooler.

See 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class specs »

Read more about S-Class interior »

2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cargo Space

Trunk room in the S-Class ranges from 10.4 cubic feet in the S550 4Matic coupe to 18.7 cubic feet in the S550 sedan.

2016 S-Class Length and Weight

S-Class sedan models are just over 17 feet long, while the S-Class coupe is around 16.5 feet long. The S-Class' curb weight ranges from 4,461 pounds in the base rear-wheel-drive S550 to 5,115 pounds in the S550e plug-in hybrid.

Where Was the 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Built?

The 2016 S-Class was assembled in Sindelfingen, Germany.

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